Congratulations Texas! Open Carry Victory and Concealed Carry Expansion
We all know that Texas is a gun friendly state, but in the concealed carry communities, we have known progress needed to be made. Today that has happened! Before jumping strait in, let me quote a real issue I had with Texas law:
The handgun cannot be visible or discernible through ordinary observation. Texas Penal Code Chapter 46 prohibits carrying the handgun in plain view. CHL holders may be subject to criminal charges for carrying a handgun in plain view.
– http://dps.texas.gov/RSD/CHL/faqs/ (as of 6/13/2015)
In best case scenarios, our concealed handguns would never print or become visible when getting out of a car, running, or reaching for the top shelf at a grocery store. It does happen though! With no open carry and restrictive laws, the possibility existed for prosecution if observed and reported. It really came down to printing. The point has been argued multiple ways, and is referenced to as “intentionally failing to conceal the firearm” in the current laws.
Getting down to it, with the new “open carry” law (approved 5/25/2015) really throws out any fear of the above happening. Now residents have the right to open carry a firearm in the state of Texas. There is still a huge stipulation here. Even with open carry, you have to obtain a license to do so. With open carry being allowed most places, the Penal Code Chapter 46 really doesn’t have a leg to stand on. As long as you are in an area where open carry would be allowed.
Open carry is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2016
That is a big win, but so is Campus Carry (House Bill 937 – approved 5/31/2015)! Texas Legislature approved allowing license holders to carry concealed handguns on public college campuses. There are still a few stipulations including private colleges ability to “opt-out” of the policy.
Campus carry is set to go into effect August 1, 2016.
Still a wait for the people of Texas, but at least it’s coming. Please go read the bills themselves to be 100% sure you stay within the law.